Tom McClintock, alleged libertarian, voted to extend Patriot Act
By Martin Hill
May 9, 2010

Freshman Congressman Rep. Tom McClintock, after being endorsed on October 21, 2008 by Congressman Ron Paul, voted to extend provisons of the Patriot Act a mere 13 months after starting his first term in Congress. In the official email sent by the Ron Paul campaign(  sent on 10/21/08 at 1:31 PM entitled 'Please Support My Friend Tom McClintock', Paul wrote, in part,

"Dear Friend: You know that I don't mince words and I don't back down in fighting a federal government that has far exceeded the confines of our Constitution. I could use some help in the House, and that¹s why I'm asking you to support my friend Tom McClintock. You may remember when he stood up to the liberal Republican establishment in California and took on Arnold Schwarzenegger during the recall election in 2003. This guy will stand and fight, and we need him in the Congress. Tom has said that he expects our federal government to protect our borders and to preserve our individual freedoms as Americans. And beyond that, he wants it out of our pockets, away from our families and out of our faces. That¹s my kind of candidate. He's facing the Daily Kos and DCCC fundraising machine, and he'll need our financial help on his side."

On February 25th, Congress voted to renew provisions of the "Patriot Act" which were set to expire. They did so in a secretive way, lumping the patriot act renewal into a group of other bills that were set to expire. In effect, they bundled the bills into one vote as to avoid public debate or publicity on the matter. So at 7:25 PM on a Thursday night, the allegedly 'libertarian leaning' freshman Congressman Tom McClintock officially pledged his support for abject tyranny.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation pointed out in their article Epic Fail in Congress: USA PATRIOT Act Renewed Without Any New Civil Liberties Protections "Disappointingly, the government's dangerously broad authority to conduct roving wiretaps of unspecified or "John Doe" targets, to secretly wiretap of persons without any connection to terrorists or spies under the so-called "lone wolf" provision, and to secretly access a wide range of private business records without warrants under PATRIOT Section 215 were all renewed without any new checks and balances to prevent abuse."

The final vote tally was 315 yes, 97 no, with ten Republicans voting no to the bundled bills which included extention of the Patriot Act. 

This is just the latest in a long line of dissapointing actions by the congressman who has traditionally advocated individual freedom and limited government. His consistent voting record for years in the California legislature, as well as his advocacy of our God given rights and the proper role of Constitutional government, made him a candidate that I wholeheartedly endorsed for governor in 2003. McClintock would speak on gun rights, property rights, lower taxes, balanced budgets, and government accountability. His votes always backed up his rhetoric. He seemed like a truly principled politician on the par of Ron Paul. But then a string of very questionable endorsements by the Senator necessitated some increased scrutiny.  

McClintock, who recently endorsed 'former' abortionist, pro-tax advocate and Al Gore donor Steve Poizner for California governor, has a history of bizzare and hypocritical 'flip-flops', endorsing big government authoritarians and socialists. This of course is par for the course for most establishment neocon Republicans, but it's sad to watch McClintock degrade into such a politician, since he seemed to have such potential years ago. McClintock enthusiastically endorsed actor Fred Thompson for president in 2008, and even after Thompson dropped out of the Republican primary, McClintock told this writer that he's 'not sure that Ron Paul is presidential timbre', and refused to endorse him.

A new TV ad in which McClintock endorses Poizner shows Schwarzenegger's face morphing into Meg Whitman Congressman. The ad begins 'Tom McClintock warned Republicans about Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was right'. McClintock then comes on screen and says "California can't afford Arnold Schwarzenegger's third term". What Tom fails to mention is that after losing the governor's race to Arnold in 2003, he later wholeheaertedly endorsed Arnold Schwarzenegger for a second term as governor in 2006. This was despite the fact that Arnold had promoted gun-grabbing, open borders, stem cell research funding, homosexual agenda bills, etc. During Arnold's 2006 campaign, McClintock spoke fervently of the need to keep Schwarzenegger in office. McClintock gave a speech insisting on "our party's responsibility to work tirelessly to reelect this Republican governor", adding "I view any effort to attack Governor Schwarzenegger as an attack on my own candidacy and those of every Republican seeking partisan office in 2006." 

After Arnold's disastrous and increasingly destructive second term as governor,  McClintock, who was about to be termed out as a State Senator, decided that the expedient thing to do would be to turn against his buddy again, and began rightly criticizing him. You can revist all these twists and turns., along with original links to speeches, in my 2008 article Which Big-Government Socialist Will Tom McClintock Endorse Next? .

Described by some as a carpetbagger because he moved to a district nearly 400 miles away in order to run  for a soon-to-be vacant Congressional seat in 2008, McClintock won the seat and is currently serving his first term. Despite McClintock's support for Fred Thompson and failure to endorse Ron Paul for president in 2008, Congressman Paul endorsed McClintock for U.S. Congress in October 2008. Here is the vote tally for the Patriot Act renewal.

Also: Ten Republicans who voted no to renew Patriot Act in 2010